Chelsea ran away with the Premier League title last season - winning by an eight point margin, but what do they need to do to repeat it?
Their squad doesn’t lack playmakers and finishers, with Diego Costa scoring 21 goals in 39 appearances and Cesc Fabregas assisting 23 times in all competitions. The Blues’ starting XI is impressive but needs greater strength in depth and to get rid of unnecessary baggage.
Winger Mohamed Salah moved to Serie A side Fiorentina on loan in January after a disappointing stint in London scoring just two goals in 13 appearances. He looks to be on the way out with the Florence side having allegedly already agreed a £13 million fee for the Egyptian.
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Chelsea also seem willing to ship out players to make room for and fund new additions. Oscar and Ramires have been rumoured to be going on the transfer market to finance a bid for in-demand France and Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.
However, it is still yet to be seen whether Chelsea will make a big name signing this summer having already brought in Radamel Falcao on loan from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco. Another striker may be on the cards, however, with Blues legend Didier Drogba leaving the club and French international Loic Remy rumoured to be on the way to Turkish SüperLig side Besiktas on loan.
After a dismal season on loan at Premier League rivals Manchester United, it isn’t certain he will improve under the guidance of ‘The Special One’. On the contrary, a weapon that seems to be in Mourinho’s arsenal next season is that of England Under-21 international Ruben Loftus-Cheek who may feature in the starting XI next season should they fail to sign Paul Pogba.
Blues Captain John Terry (34) still remains the last academy player to establish himself in the Chelsea ranks.
Champions League impact
Domestic titles aren’t the only goal of Chelsea’s 2015/16 campaign. An exit in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League left The Blues disappointed. Success in Europe is firmly on Jose Mourinho’s radar having never won the title with the Premier League champions despite previous successes with Porto, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. He will be hoping to have a repeat of Chelsea’s 2012 European title.
This is where strength-in-depth is needed; a side can’t play 54 games in a season and keep the same starting XI. Both Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas started to tire in the latter half of the season.The Spanish international has scored and assisted two goals in the second part of the campaign compared to his impressive 15 at the beginning.
Chelsea need to address this issue if they are going to have greater success next season. There is no doubt that the Blues will be a huge threat next season, but there is still work to be done if they want to be successful both in Europe and domestically.